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"April Sees Heightened Chinese and US Naval Activities in the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2018/46, 26 April 2018 Although tensions between China and the Southeast Asian claimants in the South China Sea have subsided significantly since mid-2016, the contested waters remain an arena of growing strategic competition between the US and China. High-profile naval activities by both countries in the area during April underscored…
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"Coming Top Personnel Changes Important for Vietnam’s Political Prospects" by Le Hong Hiep

2018/45, 25 April 2018The seventh plenum of the twelfth Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is scheduled to convene in May 2018. The plenum is expected to make major personnel decisions that will generate important implications for Vietnam’s political prospects, especially the thirteenth congress of the CPV…
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"President U Win Myint’s Debut at the ASEAN Summit" by Moe Thuzar

2018/44, 25 April 2018 The 32nd ASEAN Summit, the first of two Summits to be chaired and hosted by Singapore during its ASEAN chairmanship in 2018, will see the debut of Myanmar’s newly elected President U Win Myint on the ASEAN scene. His participation will be watched with interest by…
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"BN Candidates List Shows it is Serious about Wrestling Kelantan from PAS" by Norshahril Saat

2018/43, 24 April 2018On 23 April, BN (National Front coalition) revealed its candidates for the state of Kelantan for GE 14. This northern Malaysian state has 14 parliament seats and 45 state legislative assembly seats. Since 1990, BN has been the opposition to PAS (Islamic Party of Malaysia) in the…
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"Constructing the Indo-Pacific" by Malcolm Cook

2018/42, 17 April 2018 The most effective regional frameworks are virtuous cycles. They are built on key state-to-state relations among members and reinforce and strengthen these same relations. The Franco-German relationship is seen as the European Union’s foundation and driving force. The post-war major power partnership between the US and…
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"China’s Investment in Malaysian Manufacturing in 2017" by Tham Siew Yean

2018/41, 13 April 2018 Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) recently reported a total of RM197.1 billion of approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors for the year 2017. Foreign direct investments (FDI) contributed RM54.7 billion, or 27.8% of the total. China continued to be the top FDI source…
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"Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Visit to China (8 to 12 April 2018)" by Lye Liang Fook

2018/40, 11 April 2018 Singapore Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong’s working visit to Beijing, Hainan and Shanghai underscores the importance Singapore attaches to maintaining regular exchanges with China at the highest level. Coming just after China’s Party Congress and its “Two Sessions” in October 2017 and March 2018 respectively,…
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"Trump’s Foreign Policy - Uncertainty Abounds" by Daljit Singh

2018/39, 10 April 2018Donald Trump’s election as President in November 2016 caused great consternation among allies and friends of the US. His ‘’America First’’ slogan portended retreat from America’s alliances, trade protectionism and pull back from multilateral trade agreements. However his first year in office ending in January 2018, in…
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"Malaysia’s GE14 Promises Suspenseful Weeks Ahead" by Lee Hwok-Aun

2018/38, 9 April 2018 Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved parliament on Saturday, 7 April, paving the way for Malaysia’s 14th general elections. State governments will follow suit in the days ahead, except for Sarawak which held its elections in 2016. The Election Commission will then announce candidate nomination and polling…
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"What drives Vietnam’s public security forces restructuring?" by Le Hong Hiep

2018/37, 6 April 2018 Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced on 2 April 2018 that the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) had approved a blueprint for the restructuring of the Ministry. The blueprint, prepared by the MPS itself, proposes to abolish the Ministry’s six existing general…
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